Seismic Modeling of Outcrop Analogues: Techniques and Applications
Kristina Bakke, Steen Agerlin Petersen, Ole Jacob Martinsen, Tor Arne Johansen, Trond Lien, John Thurmond, 2011. "Seismic Modeling of Outcrop Analogues: Techniques and Applications", Outcrops Revitalized: Tools, Techniques and Applications, Ole J. Martinsen, Andrew J. Pulham, Peter D.W. Haughton, Morgan D. Sullivan
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Resolving the geological details hidden beneath the resolution of seismic reflection data has been a continuing challenge for decades. Forward seismic modeling of outcrop analogues provides an important scale link between the architectural geometries observed in outcrops and in seismic. Such models can potentially bridge the critical gap in resolution between datasets and provide new and improved insight to the interpretation of petroleum targets.
The use of outcrop analogues can produce realistic models where petrophysical properties, lithology distribution, and reservoir architecture are all defined. The synthetic seismic model is compared with subsurface seismic data and adjusted to find the earth model that gives a seismic response that matches the real seismic amplitudes. A four-step workflow on how to build seismic models of outcrops is suggested and detailed in this paper. Information regarding how to construct high-resolution, complex, geologically realistic architectural elements such as mass-transport complexes is also described.
Analysis of outcrop synthetic seismic has enabled us to study and understand the anticipated seismic character and imaging of depositional systems at different scales. Seismic models reveal the expected seismic architecture and character of similar geobodies and basin-fill sequences. They also increase the ability to predict hydrocarbon-bearing rocks in unexplored basins. Seismic interpretations of subsurface targets in both Angola and in the Gulf of Mexico have been quality controlled using this technique. This research contributes to better constraints on lithology predictions, fluid response, and geometry distribution in these areas.
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Outcrops are fundamental to everything we hope to achieve in geological understanding. They are gateways to geological processes, earth history and they help ground-truth remote sensing applications. With increasing resolution of subsurface tools and techniques, one could be forgiven in believing that outcrops have had their day and their utility is less than in the past great eras of field mapping and the development of facies models. This premise is far from the truth and this new SEPM volume illustrates how new analytical techniques are revitalizing outcrops and in the process creating a wealth of new data and fresh geological understandings. In this book you will find a compilation of the growing arsenal of outcrop tools and techniques and a consideration of future developments. This collection of papers, delivered at a SEPM Research Conference on the West coast of Ireland in the summer of 2008, is a smorgasbord of case studies, workflows, modeling, and applications which spans clastic and carbonate settings. Whatever your interest in outcrop geology and its application there is something in this volume for you. If you are seeking guidance for using new outcrop tools, looking for efficiencies in data collection or desiring new insights for old and favorite outcrops, this volume is a must have. This volume also makes an excellent reference or textbook for any group of professionals or students working or studying the new technologies that have allowed new insights from outcrops. We also consider this a superbly timed publication because many new outcrop tools are now becoming mainstream via reduced purchase and operating costs. Once you read this volume, and there are reduced prices for SEPM members and students, please share your new experiences with the authors and editors and help continue the revitalization of our shared and continually surprising outcrop library of the earth.